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This article was published on March 16, 2021


Nissan has lost the plot — puts gasoline engine in ‘EV,’ says it’s 100% electric driven

Words have no meaning

Nissan has lost the plot — puts gasoline engine in ‘EV,’ says it’s 100% electric driven
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

I don’t even know where to start with this one. So I’m just going to take it step by step.

Earlier today, Nissan, that Japanese car company that usually has its head screwed on pretty well, posted a tweet. And it’s the most insane tweet I’ve ever read, and I follow Elon Musk.

The tweet outlined Nissan’s ePower technology, which it says is a 100% electric-motor driven system. Except, it’s not, because it has a gasoline engine.

It’s 100% electric-motor driven in the sense that only the electric motor is connected to the wheels, but the battery that powers it gets its energy from burning fossil fuels. It uses the gasoline engine as a generator.

This whole thing is way more convoluted and complicated than it needs to be. Just make more battery EVs please, Nissan.

It’s basically the same as me saying I’m vegan because I only eat 100% grass fed beef. The cow is just a vehicle for my veganism. The wheels are powered by an electric motor, therefore the whole car is electric! No, Nissan, no.

Check out the insanity for yourself below.

It’s not like Nissan is concealing the fact that its supposed electric car has a gasoline engine. The company even put together a nice flashy video detailing how it all works here.

But seriously, Nissan, come on! Playing fast and loose with the phrase “100% electric-motor driven,” aren’t we?

The reality is, it’s 100% driven by the electric motor, but if we take a step further up the chain, it’s a gasoline engine burning dinojuice to charge the batteries that power the damn thing! It pollutes like any other gasoline vehicle!

And here’s my problem with it: newcomers to the EV world might see the phrase “100% electric…” and dive straight in thinking they’re getting a fully electric car when they’re not.

Shame on you Nissan, it was all looking so good, what with your Leaf battery recycling efforts and all.

The switch to electric vehicles comes with enough nuance and new terminology, so the last thing we need are more complicated and finicky details to untangle. Please carmakers of the world: keep things simple and don’t try to mislead.

It’s like Lexus and its “self-charging hybrids” all over again. Do we never learn?


Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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